Booth Babes: Living In A Geek Boys’ World, Part 2

Look, it’s pretty girls in tight clothing at a tech trade show!

Now tell me what product they’re selling. Or whether it matters.

I’ve never been to a trade show, like the one shown at left, or to a convention. I would very much like to. At the same time, the prevalence of so-called “booth babes” would be off-putting to me. These women are typically models hired for the day to hang around a booth hawking a product. Because they’re only there for the day, their knowledge about said product is generally pretty sketchy, and the women are really only there to get people to the booth.

If there are male booth babes, I haven’t ever heard of it, but I wouldn’t be surprised. That said, the term is generally understood to refer to the female of the species.

The photo above is from a great post by Glenn Fleishman, who wrote a piece detailing the problem. (Check it out.) Do booth babes attract enough people to make it worth repelling other people?

I’m not just talking about women here–the audience for this particular trade show is apparently about 60-40 male/female split. Some men avoid booths with booth babes because they feel uncomfortable around them. They might feel uncomfortable with that level of objectification, or they may simply dislike being blatantly manipulated. Some people feel companies that hire booth babes are sleazy.

And yes, it can make women feel uncomfortable, too.

Is that any different from hiring attractive people on a permanent basis and putting them in ordinary (but still attractive) business attire?

I’m just wondering if booth babes might not be counterproductive in the long run, especially given that 40 percent of the intended audience is female anyway. And it seems that more and more women are making technology purchasing decisions.

3 Responses

  1. Vorn

    The best(?) part is that in order to use the information they have blazoned upon their uniforms, one must take a picture of their butts.

  2. Pingback : Defending Sexual Harassment | Oh Look, a Shiny Thing!

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